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AMD Launches New ATI Linux Driver 262

Posted by kdawson
from the soon-it-will-all-be-faster dept.
Michael Larabel writes "AMD has issued a press release announcing 'significant graphics performance and compatibility enhancements' on Linux. AMD will be delivering new ATI Linux drivers this year that offer ATI Radeon HD 2000 series support, AIGLX support (Beryl and Compiz), and major performance improvements. At Phoronix we have been testing these new drivers internally for the past few weeks and have a number of articles looking at this new driver. The ATI 8.41 Linux driver delivers Linux gaming improvements from the R300/400 series and the R500 series. The inaugural Radeon HD 2900XT series support also can be found in the new ATI Linux driver with 'the best price/performance ratio of any high-end graphics card under Linux.' While this new driver cannot be downloaded yet, in their press release AMD also alludes to accelerating efforts with the open-source community."
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AMD Launches New ATI Linux Driver

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  • Put up or shut up... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MMC Monster (602931) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:11AM (#20478947)
    Really, it's not that I like nvidia. But I've been hearing reports on /. since the beginning of the year of ATI linux drivers coming soon. How about we wait until they're actually release before bothering to give them any support.
    • by Prof.Phreak (584152) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:20AM (#20480983) Homepage
      Amen. Same for AMD in general. Come on... actually release -SOMETHING-!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Brandybuck (704397)
      Ditto. I am a FreeBSD users. There are no drivers for newer ATI cards on FreeBSD, because ATI refuses to open source their drivers. I have been hearing rumours of open source drivers for a year now, but nothing. At LWCE the AMD guys said we would see some imminently, but nothing.

      I am building a new system in the next month or two, and if ATI still hasn't come out with open source drivers, I'm going with Intel instead.
  • Are they open? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MarcQuadra (129430) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:13AM (#20479003)
    They're useless to me unless the source is available, preferably under the GPL. I really wish they'd work -inside- the framework of the kernel, Mesa, and xorg projects instead of building one-off binary drivers. What if I want to use their card on PowerPC, want to link against the latest (or a non-mainline) kernel, or just want to run an all-open system?
    • Re:Are they open? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gmack (197796) <gmackNO@SPAMinnerfire.net> on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:19AM (#20479107) Homepage Journal
      Right now I would settle for a driver that works on recent kernels since one of those improvements mean much to me if I can't actually install them.

      I used to be a huge ATI fan but I've completely stopped buying their stuff. If they can't be bothered to make working drivers or have useful support answers. I can't be bothered to shell out money for something that's just going into the garbage bin anyways.

      NVIDIA is marginally better.. at least these stuff works even if I have to reinstall the X.org drivers every time I update a kernel.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MarcQuadra (129430)
        I used to buy ATI for all my Linux machines, but the past few years the R300 rift opened wider and wider, and the open-source support for the new cards got more and more flaky (not the drivers themselves, they just keep falling farther and farther behind the hardware offerings). I've switched to Intel integrated graphics for my machines, the GMA 3000 and X3000 are actually enough horsepower for all my needs, Intel is commited to providing open code, and the picture quality seems just as good as the two 'ti
    • by Bert64 (520050)
      Supporting PPC makes even less sense now that AMD owns ATI...
      Why would they want to support their cards on a processor type they don't produce?
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by KDR_11k (778916)
        To get at least some sales from people who don't buy one of their products?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Bert64 (520050)
          But seriously, how many PPC workstations get sold nowadays?
          Especially ones with slots able to take new videocards...
          It's such a small niche that it's probably not worth it for AMD to pursue.
          • Perhaps instead of "PPC" the OP should've said ${nonX86Processor} so you would get the drift. The same applies to Sparc, ARM, Power-and-siblings, and a half-dozen others that I can't be bothered to name. Not all of these are out of mainstream production (even PPC is still in mainstream production, just not by Apple) and there is certainly a need for Linux video drivers for these platforms. Not to mention embedded stuff...
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by mrchaotica (681592) *

              The same applies to Sparc, ARM, Power-and-siblings, and a half-dozen others that I can't be bothered to name. Not all of these are out of mainstream production...

              I hate to break it to you, but you're using a very non-standard definition of "mainstream."

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by fimbulvetr (598306)
          Are you aware of the concepts of capitalism? I don't mean to be condescending, but serious. Do you understand there are significant costs on the programming side for an entirely different architecture? Do you understand AMD needs to make money to survive as a company? Do you understand that only a fraction of their customers are running Linux, and of that a trivial fraction are running PPC?
      • Re:Are they open? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by howlingmadhowie (943150) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @12:06PM (#20481629)
        if they documented the interface, they wouldn't have to support it. someone else would do the work.
    • Re:Are they open? (Score:5, Informative)

      by corvair2k1 (658439) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:35AM (#20479315)
      NVIDIA has long since had a handle on your "latest/nonstandard kernel" problem. It builds its own interfaces to conform to the kernel's.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by david.given (6740)

      What if I want to use their card on PowerPC, want to link against the latest (or a non-mainline) kernel, or just want to run an all-open system?

      On a related note: does anyone know if it's possible to get standalone graphics cards with Intel 3D graphics hardware on them?

      I know that on an absolute scale, the Intel chipsets aren't particularly fast... but they're certainly faster than the Radeon 9600 mobility I've got right now, and there are genuinely open source accelerated drivers for them. Which means

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        AFAIK, Intel graphics chips only come on motherboards with Intel chipsets, which only handle Intel processors.

        See a pattern here?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Cajun Hell (725246)

          See a pattern here?

          Yep, a strong pattern indeed. Intel is saying, "Buy an Intel processor," whereas AMD is saying, "Buy an Intel processor." Anyone who can't spot the pattern in that, has to be pretty dense. I wonder why AMD's stockholders haven't noticed it.

          • The only people who see it like that are the same people who would rather have an Intel Integrated Whatever than a Radeon 9600.
    • Re:Are they open? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:08AM (#20479791) Journal

      They're useless to me unless the source is available, preferably under the GPL.
      Out of interest, why GPL? The rest of DRI (and x.org) is MIT licensed, including the Intel drivers. The only parts that are GPL'd are the kernel modules (which do a small amount of validation and pass instructions to the hardware). Keeping the majority of the drivers MIT licensed makes it much easier for people to add support for other operating systems, such as FreeBSD and Solaris (both of which are supported by nVidias blobs, although only FreeBSD has good support for Intel chips since no one has ported DRI to Solaris yet).
      • by bfields (66644)

        Yah. Not to put words in the original poster's mouth, but I'm guessing what they meant was "under a license compatible with the upstream projects", and the upstream project they came immediately to mind was the GPL-licensed kernel.

        The important thing is not to end up in a situation like openafs, say, where the code's under an open source license that has some technical conflict with the GPL and as a result has to be maintained outside the tree for ever....

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by eviltypeguy (521224)
        Incorrect.

        Solaris now has DRI support for chips such as the Intel 915 since October of last year at least:
        http://mail.opensolaris.org/pipermail/xwin-discuss /2006-October/000356.html [opensolaris.org]
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:14AM (#20479021) Homepage
    I purchase Nvidia only because the cards actually work under linux, or they used to. Lately there are issues...

    If AMD steps up to the plate and gives us good drivers and actually listens and reacts fast to reported problems, they can come out way ahead.

    Nvidia driver install used to be painless, now it can be incredibly painful depending on the Distro and Card you have. I still cant get a old Geforce4 card working on my wifes ubuntu PC. I gave up and switched to the intel onboard chipset. Far better support for that video chipset than nvidia is giving us even for the older cards that USED to work great.
    • by ajs318 (655362)
      What's wrong with the i-tal "nv" driver? Never installed nVidious's closed-source crap, never likely to.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Lumpy (12016)
        Um no 3d, no Xv acceleration, makes it useless to even have a video card outside the built in cheapie no 3d no acceleration anything card.

        nv driver is good for install or limp mode only.
      • by Zonk (troll) (1026140) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:42AM (#20479399)

        What's wrong with the i-tal "nv" driver? Never installed nVidious's closed-source crap, never likely to.
        It's 2d only. Ie, no Beryl/Compiz. It also doesn't seem to be very stable. I use that driver on my PowerBook (it runs Ubuntu), but X freezes half of the time I try to play a video*. If I'm at home I have to ssh in from another machine and kill X so I can use the thing again, or if I'm anywhere else I have to reboot (keyboard and mouse are frozen as is everything on the desktop, ctrl-alt-backspace doesn't do anything).

        * It doesn't matter whether I'm using VLC, Xine, Mplayer, or Totem. I happens very often, which is why I'll usually just boot it into OS X if I want to play a dvd or avi.

        Also, in reply to Lumpy (gp), why is it so hard to go to "System->Administration->Restricted Drivers Manager"? I've done that with a few GeForce4 (integrated) cards and it's as easy as typing your password and clicking a button.

        If you're not running 7.04, then just do "System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager" and do a search for "nvidia-glx". Install that and it should work (you might have to change /etc/X11/xorg.conf to "nvidia" rather than "nv", I don't remember if that's automatic or not).

        Ubuntu is by far the easiest distro to install 3d graphics drivers on since they provide the packages. No compiling and it will always work across reboots since the driver gets updated when the kernel does.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by pato101 (851725)

          If I'm at home I have to ssh in from another machine and kill X so I can use the thing again, or if I'm anywhere else I have to reboot (keyboard and mouse are frozen as is everything on the desktop, ctrl-alt-backspace doesn't do anything).
          Next time try Alt+Print_Screen+K (search for Raising Skinny Elephants is Utterly Boring at the wikipedia [wikipedia.org])
    • I purchase Nvidia only because the cards actually work under linux, or they used to. Lately there are issues...
      That's why I purchase Intel only -- free drivers work and are actually supported by the distros, the kernel people, and Intel.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by (H)elix1 (231155)
        Have you tried a current Intel graphics card lately? I've been struggling with a Intel 945GM graphics card in a laptop. Yes, drivers in source code form exist at http://www.intellinuxgraphics.com/ [intellinuxgraphics.com] but I'll be damned if I can get everything to work with the directions provided using Centos/RHEL. Using the 915Resolution hack got it running at 1280x800, but for all the googling and failed attempts, 'supported' is a very strong word. Yes, I'm not a guru when it comes to the Linux configuration stuff. An R
        • by AaronW (33736)
          I concur. We have some newer PCs at work with integrated Intel graphics and the drivers don't work at all. The best I can get is frame buffer mode, which is useless with the LCD monitors, since the FB drivers cannot match the monitor's native resolution and are incredibly slow. I just gave up and installed an nVidia card with nVidia's driver, and everything just plain worked. I've rarely had problems with their proprietary driver. The only thing I need to remember is to reinstall after I boot into a new ker
      • by chill (34294)
        How does it work for gaming? I'd really like to support Intel on all my machines, just because of their support for the GPL drivers they have done. However, I've yet to see adequate 3D gaming performance on their 945 and 950 chipsets.

        If you have one, can you give me an idea how Linux native 3D games play? Hardware specs and framerates would be good. America's Army v2.5 is popular, freely available as a download, has a native Linux version and is a total dog on the old ATI drivers. With nVidia I get fas
    • This is not likely NVIDIA's fault. Ubuntu has various issues dealing with 3rd party drivers that conflict functionally with those in the repository. In this case, the various "nv" drivers conflict with the blobs released by NVIDIA. One way to fix this is to use the nvidia-glx packages from the repositories. The other way, if you have to use NVIDIA's blob, is to blacklist the included nv drivers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by non (130182)
      at the risk of being offtopic:

      with Ubuntu you have a choice of three different NVidia drivers; new, normal, and legacy. you should probably use normal 'nvidia-kernel-' & 'nvidia-glx-'. if, on the other hand, you have a brand spanking new card, you will need the beta drivers direct from nvidia and you will have to install them yourself. in the event you choose to go that road do *not* install the linux-restricted-stuff - it will interfere with the drivers, and remember to re-install the drivers from reco
    • Must be a Ubuntu thing. I've never had a problem with Red Hat, CentOS (I know, virtually the same thing), Fedora or Slackware. I've had 4 different cards in 4 different computers over the years (as a gamer and then as a graphics/visualization person at work, programming under Linux). NVidia's drivers always seemed to work on the first try.
    • by MrNemesis (587188)
      As I think someone else has said, nVidia maintain a "legacy" driver for older GPU's. Unfortunately this keep changing - damnit, I wish someone would come up with an app that can install the correct driver based on an lspci output... (unless the nVidia installer already does this, but IIRC it doesn't).

      I also had problems with my venerable Ti4200 until I installed the legacy driver, after which it worked fine.

      You are better off using the Intel onboard though - solid for 2D stuff and good for light OGL stuff t
      • by richlv (778496)
        yeah. and nvidia is fixing bugs only in the new drivers. woohoo.
        i am buying and recommending nvidia only still, but if ati would provide opensource drivers in kernel/xorg... that could change. not likely, given that we've heard all kinds of such vague promises before and nothing changed.
        • by MrNemesis (587188)
          To be fair, they do update their legacy releases to some degree. I think the major stumbling block now is that, with different legacy "versions" knocking about, many users don't want to have to grep through a "here's the supported cards for this driver" list to find out which driver they need to install. Be nice if $distro_package_manager could be made to figure this out for themselves...

          ATI have really, really dragged their heels on this. There was a time when I'd have jumped to ATI in a flash, but support
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Zebedeu (739988)

      I still cant get a old Geforce4 card working on my wifes ubuntu PC

      That's not only a problem with the Linux drivers, as I had exactly the same happening to me in my mothers Windows XP computer. It appears that nVidia stops testing their drivers with old iterations of their video cards, though it would be at least helpfull if they acknowlodged the problem and made available on their website old versions that are know to be working.

      In the end I made it work by searching for old versions of the nVidia drivers on the internet. Perhaps if you try an old version of the linux dr

  • by Trelane (16124) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:17AM (#20479065) Journal
    It's only been 3-4 years since I bought an ATI card in the (vain) hopes that they would continue supporting X devs. Sadly, I found poor support and lots of bugs. Unless they pull an Intel and release/fund Free drivers for their graphics chips, for me it's Intel for ease-of-use and NVidia for performance. I've lost faith in them.
  • Underwhelmed (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Have ATI even stopped violating the GPL by shipping old code from AGPGart in their binary? This is too little too late, I've already given up on high performance 3D and decided to stick with intel graphics because of the open drivers. What's the betting this 'driver' requires mono? Seriously, last I looked the windows drivers required the .NOT framework for the craplet and settings manager.

    • by Svartalf (2997)
      Well the settings manager happens to be a Qt app if that matters...

      I'm glad they woke up- but it may be a bit late unless the rumblings of turning up the volume on the open source side
      of things on their end are true.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:38AM (#20479347) Homepage
    In previous discussions about ATI and their Linux driver support, I had mentioned that I made the bold move to move away from ATI on my laptop to nVidia. (Dell makes these kinds of changes fairly easy) My laptop is an Inspiron 8600 which I had originally ordered to use the ATI Mobility 9600 card. Through eBay, I ordered and later installed the 128MB version of the nVidia card to replace it. (Not terribly expensive either.) I just checked AMD/ATI's web site to see what the current hardware supported under the current driver is. Sure enough, my mobility 9600 is now at the very bottom of the supported hardware list and with the new release, it is certain to fall off entirely.

    If it hasn't been stated clearly enough in the past, I'll state it again. Even if you don't care about whether a driver is OSS or proprietary from a technical standpoint, users are advised to understand that proprietary drivers places control over your hardware's obsolescence firmly in the hands of the manufacturer. And these days, with limited hardware selection for things like laptops or very tiny PCs, your options are pretty limited. These proprietary drivers are damaging the viability of Linux on older hardware which has been one of Linux's strongest motivators for adoption.

    Moving to nVidia helps because at least with nVidia, they have a legacy hardware program to support and update drivers for older hardware. AMD/ATI does not. Ultimately, though, I should probably settle in and get comfortable with the OSS drivers for my hardware even if the performance is lower... it's a damned shame though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nametaken (610866)
      I think the big problem is not that people don't understand the pitfalls of proprietary drivers. I think it's more that people buy hardware first, and opt to install an alt OS down the line. Aside from myself, I don't know anyone who was careful to purchase a computer that would be well supported by anything other than Windows.

      The net result is that a LOT of people end up with ATI video cards, not wanting to buy replacements, and aggravated that driver support sucks. It's a crappy situation all the way a
      • by erroneus (253617)
        This is very true... the FIRST go-around. Many of us tend to learn from that though... my first lesson was long ago with Sony and the NeoMagic video chipset... that video REALLY sucked. I learned to avoid it and I'm guessing everyone else has as well since I haven't heard of it in years. And now people are learning the same with ATI... the lesson is coming slower for many people, though, as ATI is rather entrenched. Fortunately, however, Vista and Direct X are pushing Windows users in the same directio
    • Looks like the ATi card in question has (unstable, but more or less working) support in DRI at the moment. ATi tends to drop support for old hardware with their blobs once there is good community support for it, so it makes sense that it would be near the bottom of the list.

      I try to avoid ATi hardware in general, but I've had good support for it under FreeBSD with the DRI drivers. Their own code tends to cause crashing on any platform I've tried (OS X, Linux and Windows).

    • by Svartalf (2997)
      The 9600 is an R300 chip. They don't plan on cutting R300 support for a while yet.

      Otherwise, your observations are largely dead-on. Unless the rumblings of ATI stepping
      up the pace with helping the Open Source community do their own drivers or a jointly
      developed driver (we can only hope...) eventually, they'll drop support for your chip.
      Having said this, the NVidia chip is only a better supported version of the same problem
      really.
  • And? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by n0dna (939092)
    Even a blind pig will find an acorn occasionally.

    Lets suppose that this driver does all it says, and more. That'd be one in a row for ATI. They have even had drivers that will sometimes work under Windows. Not very often, and not by any stretch routinely.

    Why would I put my money behind a product that I can be fairly certain will never have another driver that will ever work?
  • by AHuxley (892839) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @09:45AM (#20479451) Homepage Journal
    Please try and support The Open Graphics Project.
    http://wiki.opengraphics.org./tiki-index.php?page= AboutOpenGraphics [wiki.opengraphics.org]
    • While I wouldn't be openly against the idea of an open graphics processor, I don't see the need for it. So long as the GPU enables me to use an open API like X or OpenGL, who cares really how it's done underneath.

      Because honestly, who's gonna pay for support? Or afford to recall defective chips, etc? At least if my nvidia card doesn't work the store I bought it from knows they can return it back through the chain to eventually get their money back. If I buy some no-name card from a small time manufactur
    • by Kjella (173770)
      Please, it's an interestic academic idea but GPUs are now more complex than CPUs and demand huge R&D efforts. They have a snowflake's chance in hell of producing anything competitive, and that's if the snowflake is taking a lava bath during a heat wave while soaked in gasoline and lit on fire. If you don't want top performance there's Intel, and then you at least get an actual, well-working product. Hopefully they can bring open drivers to more performance oriented markets too, but even for Intel that's
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TeknoHog (164938)

      If you want Linux and open, you can use Intel's graphics chips right now. They have opensource drivers in the stable kernel and X.org trees. If you need badass performance for the latest games, I don't think OGP will be much better than Intel. But for example, my oldish Centrino laptop runs things like Tuxracer and Quake 3 smoothly, so the basic 3D stuff definitely works.

      On the other hand, I do appreciate a good hardware hack, but that's a completely different realm from most Linux geeks' needs. A compl

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by init100 (915886)

      Or you might want to try this: AMD to open up graphics specs [lwn.net]

  • by theMAGE (51991) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:00AM (#20479661)
    The title is misleading - AMD did not launch anything, they announced it. Just the fact that some random hardware site got a sneak peek at the driver does not change anything...
    • There WAS that request from some PR type in the Firehose to give Slashdot an interview over the subject. So I suspect that they plan to do something. Because if they're plotting a PR blitz over a lot of nothing, that'd only backfire.

      Honestly, I suspect this has more to do with Dell selling Ubuntu than anything. Hopefully that'll at least get them to improve the drivers, although I wish we could get some open ones. I mean, the kernel team is willing to work under an NDA... what more do they need?
  • by DirkGently (32794) <dirk@@@lemongecko...org> on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:02AM (#20479707) Homepage
    I didn't see any word about MPEG2/MPEG4 offloading, or even word of proper Xv support/controls. I've got my fingers crossed, but for those of us who live & breathe MythTV [mythtv.org], I fear it's still a one-horse town.
    • by tji (74570)
      Seconded. Linux+MythTV is already a top notch DVR option, which would really benefit from video improvements.

      But, there are a few horses to choose from (all with their share of warts):

      NVidia - Closed binary blob, supports XvMC for MPEG2 accel. Works some of the time, for some that try it.

      Intel - Only very basic XvMC support today, but they have a very nice effort towards open source drivers and a new video acceleration API for MPEG2, MPEG4, H.264 support, and VLD support. Looks like a great MythTV op
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by DirkGently (32794)
        I'm very curious to see what comes about from the myth-vid branch of development. The devs are making a solid attempt at moving away from XvMC and using the 3D engine, as that's what nVidia does in the Windows drivers for their "PureVideo" stuff. It's got a lot of promise and opens up a lot of better deinterlacers beyond bob & weave. However, because ATI drivers have stunk so badly (and because they already own nVidia cards), that's what the devs are working with. For the forseeable future, if you want
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mad Merlin (837387)

      fglrx currently has Xv acceleration using the GPU on R500 series cards, and it works well enough that I can watch 1080p H.264 content with no dropped frames. It's the one (and only) thing it currently beats the Nvidia drivers on.

  • by TheGreatOrangePeel (618581) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:24AM (#20480027) Homepage
    What the hell is up with all the scathing remarks?! Let's remember that the ATI acquisition by AMD is new and let's be impressed, considering past support, that progress is being made in the Linux ATI drivers arena AT ALL! I really do believe that AMD is going to do the right thing by Linux. They're two underdogs that stand a lot to gain from each other and it would only stand to hurt any gains to be had by such a relationship by continuing what ATI was doing before the buyout. The fact of the matter is, ATI has undoubtedly undergone a mass re-organization and is, doubtlessly, also operating under a new philosophy. Anyone who knows someone who had their division bought out knows this to be true. Let's just sit back and see what happens before we start (effectively) blaming AMD for ATI's past mistakes and poorly written code.
  • by xer.xes (4181) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:27AM (#20480073)
    It was announced today at the Linux summit they will open up specifications for all graphics cards, and release a 'reference'/minimal open-source driver for all cards.

    More here: http://lwn.net/Articles/248227 [lwn.net]
    • by chill (34294) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:35AM (#20480195) Journal
      All graphics cards from the R500 going forward, specifically.

      Still, THIS should be an article on Slashdot with the new drivers being a footnote -- not the other way around.
      • by Svartalf (2997)
        Interesting. R500 forward would be a major improvement, really. While I'd like to have R300/R400 and better R200 info, I'll take what I can actually GET from someone giving it like that.
        • by MORB (793798)
          Even if they don't open up the older cards, it won't matter anymore in a few years - as long as they stay commited to open up the specs for all their new cards.

          As far as I'm concerned, unless nvidia follows my next graphic card will be an AMD.
    • by lotho brandybuck (720697) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:40AM (#20480265) Homepage Journal
      That's huge. I hope this is true. I hope it's done fast.
      Available, truly open sourced drivers are going to be a big factor in any hardware purchase I make.
      I'm just one, but I think I'm one of many. Even if you're not "paranoid" (concerned) it's obsolecense protection.

    • by MrHanky (141717)
      I was planning to purchase a Radeon X1950 Pro (since I still have AGP and can't afford/don't need an upgrade). Now it doesn't look like such a stupid idea after all. Excellent news!
    • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:33AM (#20481165) Homepage
      That's excellent news, but I'm always weary of paper releases. When the specs are available for download, and someone with more driver writing skills than me has said "yep, this is a good and complete documentation that we can actually use" then it's time for celebration. Then maybe next time I'll cosider an ATI card, it's been a long time since last time.
  • by MrNemesis (587188) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:29AM (#20480099) Homepage Journal
    Since the beginning of the year? Hell, I've been hearing murmuring for years on "support for XYZ will be coming soon!" - and yet today the disparity between the ATI/nVidia feature set and stability under Linux are still huge. How long since nVidia got support for AIGLX? ATI only just adds it now?

    You'll also note that, GeForce 8x00 series notwithstanding (which are marginally slower under Linux), nVidia maintain a very small performance delta between the Linux and windows version of their drivers. ATI's performance delta can sometimes be as much as 50% (top-of-my-head BTW, Phoronix had another full-of-crappy-graphs article about it a while back).

    I'm hoping AMD can pull some weight and at least get better support for laptop chipsets and IGP's in their otherwise pretty nice chipsets. Until then, I have to stick to Intel or nVidia for graphics, and since I only need the one gaming box, I'm getting through alot of Intel motherboards. Guess what CPU goes in an Intel motherboard, AMD? Despite me wanting to use X2's for their lower idle power envelope, I find it hard to justify.

    Sigh.
  • It's about time! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <(sherwin) (at) (amiran.us)> on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @10:53AM (#20480497) Homepage Journal
    Awesome!

    Even though its not "out" yet, there are plenty of benchmarks available. It'll be out soon.

    What does this "prove" for me? That AMD's commitment to make ATI a first-class contender on the Linux front was for real. I'm guessing that Windows users will also see improvements in OpenGL performance, and we'll see better adoption of OpenGL on all three major platforms (Windows, OS X, Linux).

    I'm happy as hell about this. About time us Linux users got to take advantage of GPU price wars!

    I'm still an NVIDIA fan, because they've been good to me for all these years (on Linux), but I'm at least willing to look at ATI these days; particularly because the ATI peripheral GPU software is much better (better control panel, better install program). I wonder if the driver quality is good (not just performance, but does it always compile correctly, does it always fix broken installs (the way NVIDIA's does?)).

    This is a good day for Linux.
  • Ironically you have a lot more choice on your Linux PC than I do on my Apple desktop. Thing comes with a defective ATI video card that overheats the moment you actually try to make it DO anything. And my choices are another (probably defective) ATI video card or a less capable Nvidia one. Well there's always a massive amount of suckitude associated with my experiences with ATI, from months spent with no PCIe support on Linux to drivers that would randomly break X to outright defective hardware. And now prom
  • Thanks, AMD!

    Unfortunately, under the existing driver, any time my rogue applied poison in WoW, I had a full half-second freeze. Which means that, last december, I got an nVidia card.

    Since I only upgrade graphics cards every couple of years, it might be a while before this matters -- especially because, until the "complete freeze on certain texturing operations" bug is documented and acknowledged and someone who had it before tells me it's fixed, I'm not about to buy an ATI card on the off chance that it mi
  • I don't think ATI and nVidia, the two big graphic chipset manufacturers, will keep their drivers closed for much more time. GPUs are more and more being seen as advanced mathematical co-processors rather than "mere" gamers' hardware. Keeping them closed is akin to keeping most if not all of a CPU's opcodes closed under NDA's. What good would that do to a CPU manufacturer? There'll come a point where software companies will simply start demanding open low level access to GPUs for performance improvement purp
  • Pathetic (Score:5, Funny)

    by BlueParrot (965239) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @11:54AM (#20481455)
    So... I don't even bother trying the fglrx drivers since the reverse engineered free driver is more stable, and actually works. I mean seriously ATI, a non-profit project which bases its code on guessing how your hardware works has not only better, but in some cases superior, stability than your shitty driver, that really says something. I think it is time for a bad car analogy. Imagine a driver who memorises the layout of the town by carefully noting down where his car crashes as he drives. This guy's taxi company is currently beating your top of the line staff, even thou you have a full map of the town, a military grade GPS receiver, and real-time information about traffic congestion. Oh, and btw, your competitor's car has opaque windows, can only use the reverse gear and he is only able to turn left. Even so, the customers prefer him in front of you. In short: You suck! Big time...

There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"

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